2.4 kids or 2.0 mums
Families come in all shapes, sizes, flavours and genders. The idea of the traditional family structure is just… a bit out of date. Which is, of course, to be celebrated!
But the idea of the traditional family structure still pervades in kids’ books. There’s usually a mum and dad with one to three children, and all the same race. Usually. Not always, but usually. And that doesn’t seem right to us. Everyone deserves to feel represented.
Children’s literature has nobly tried to deal with this change in family make-up. Books like ‘My Two Dads are Amazing’ tackle diversity. But they tend to be outliers, sitting on their own special shelf in book shops. Which kind of defeats the purpose.
We set out to make a personalised book all about celebrating a new arrival in a family. In any family. Maybe yours! And if you buy a personalised book starring your unique family, it really has to feel like it’s about you.
This idea sparked an immense amount of head-scratching in the Wonderbly story studio. Because this kind of personalisation is, well, rather complex…
If a family has eight members, and we have to ask for the names, genders and appearance of each member, it would be a bit laborious. Laborious is the opposite of fun and we like to make things FUN. Which gave us an idea.
What if Mum was a bear, and Grandpa Eric and Grandma Flo too. If they’re ALL bears, then we don’t have to ask people to choose the gender or appearance of each family member. Hey, they’re bears!
These bears can easily represent anyone. Two mum bears, or a dad and no mum, or seven aunties (can you imagine?!). And no race bias in sight. It felt right. It felt fun. And most importantly it felt inclusive.
So, to create your family in A Letter for the Littlest Bear, you simply choose your favourite bears (and name them of course) to represent each member:
In the story you create, your bear-family are looking for the littlest bear (the new arrival!), because there’s a special letter for them. We meet one bear at a time as they search high and low for the littlest bear. Which is a lovely way for a little one to be introduced to their new family. They finally find the cub, at which point they all celebrate. Hooray!
It’s a very cute book. It’s got an actual letter at the end, too, written by the gifter. And it’s personalised because we think the more a child sees themselves and their life in a story, the more magical it will be.
Bears. It’s a simple idea, but it works. Whatever shape the family, we’ll make you a story. No assumptions, no special shelf. Just a book in which your unique, wonderful family is just as they are, only furrier.
You can create your own bear-family story by following the link. To make sure you introduce your littlest to their uniquely-shaped family.
This post is also available in: English (US)